A red dress and stilettos was what a male gender trainer wore to a recent discussion on sexuality with church leaders.
Motsau Motsau was part of a panel of young theologians asked to present at a two-day workshop in Stellenbosch with Dutch Reformed Church leaders from around the country last week.
The course was titled: “SEX! - A Christian biblical ethical framework for sexuality”.
Motsau is a gender and Anglican process co-ordinator for Inclusive and Affirming Ministries.
Last year, the church voted in favour of acknowledging same-sex unions and granting the same privileges to all, regardless of sexual orientation.
Motsau felt the conversation with religious policy makers during the workshop was successful.
'Gender is fluid'
“The point with the outfit was to make the understanding clear that gender is fluid,” he told News24 on Monday.
Motsau got the red dress from Stellenbosch University theology lecturer, Dr Nadia Marais.
It was not a problem walking in his stilettos - in fact, he could “even run a good distance in them”.
The attire apparently prompted one minister to reflect on why “we as white males” were uncomfortable seeing him in a dress. The question made Motsau feel he had got his message across.
“When we talk about same sex or same gender persons, we are not talking about the same people. There is a diversity and gender is not locked in or a binary of male or female, men or women,” he said.
Leaders had to keep this complexity in mind when thinking and reflecting about policies affecting these communities. They should also invite the relevant parties for a conversation if writing an ethical reflection on them, said Motsau.
'Learn to listen'
Giving an example, he said: “It is no use sitting up there, making decisions that would affect my life and I didn’t contribute to that.”
Motsau made a link between speaking from queerness and blackness. He said it was hard to articulate a black-lived reality.
“If you cannot understand or reflect, rather learn to listen.”
Marais told News24 the course was organised as part of the continuous development of ministers, under the jurisdiction of the Communitas centre of the Theology Department at the university.
When the General Synod of the Dutch Reformed Church took a resolution last year, it apologised “to people who have been hurt and whose dignity has been affected due to any homophobic language, conduct or attitude from the side of the church”.
It committed to refraining from such language, conduct or attitude in future